Re: Rendering Raised FULL STOP between Digits

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2013 18:57:50 -0800

On 3/9/2013 5:30 PM, Richard Wordingham wrote:
> On Sat, 09 Mar 2013 14:41:11 -0800
> Asmus Freytag <> wrote:
>> On 3/9/2013 1:51 PM, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>>> 2013-03-09 21:30, Asmus Freytag wrote:
>>> I wonder what character and techniques British publishers use to
>>> produce notations with a raised dot. Is it 002E, with typographic
>>> tools used to raise it, or is it 00B7?
>> I agree, data would help settle this. Richard?
> I'm not in the publishing business, but here's what I know.
> The general feeling seems to be that computers don't do proper decimal points, and so the raised decimal point is dropping out of use. In so far as character coding is involved, the raised decimal point seems to be produced using U+00B7, and I was taken aback by the statement that that was not the correct character.

This would not be the first incidence of new writing/printing/processing
technology feeding back onto how people write, or layout text or even
sort. Whenever new technology becomes pervasive, but doesn't support
certain features, it can create pressure to remove them.
> 'The Lancet' reportedly insists on the use of the raised decimal point ( gives the instructions 'Type decimal points midline (ie, 23ยท4, not 23.4). To create a midline decimal on a PC: hold down ALT key and type 0183 on the number pad, or on a Mac: ALT shift 9.' On Windows, that gives U+00B7 MIDDLE DOT.
That's sensible advice, in a way, because B7 is in 8859-1 and therefore
supported in a huge variety of fonts, for practical purposes, the
coverage among non-decorative text fonts is pretty near universal.
> I've googled for advice on how to produce the raised decimal point.
> Apart from suggestions to use the a character picker (generally implying U+00B9),
recte: 00B7
> the only other method I've seen is a TeX package called
> 'decimal'. It appears to render '.' as the (raised) decimal point and '\.' as the full stop. That's the closest I've found to raising a full stop.

Well, in TeX, you can attach "style" or "markup" to any input character
and there's no explicit reference to any character encoding, because
ultimately, tech output gets resolved to a combination of glyphs plus
position (that is, you can directly "raise" pr "lower" any glyph using a
TeX macro, without the need to have font support).

Because of that, TeX fonts don't technically need separate glyphs for
dots at different relative vertical position from the baseline.

Regular fonts might reuse the actual sequence of instructions for
drawing the dot, but would still expose separate glyph records
containing the different positions.
> Back in May 1999, John Cowan said on this list 'That is the British
> decimal-point convention. It can be represented in Unicode plain text with U+00B7 MIDDLE DOT', and no one contradicted him in the thread.

Looks like the community voted to not accept the Unicode recommendation
for using "formatting magic" on 002E, so this reinforces the call to
remove such recommendations as misleading and contrary to accepted practice.

Received on Sat Mar 09 2013 - 20:58:55 CST

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